Deliberate style or fashion faux pas?

Have you looked at some women and wondered if their look is intentional or just one big blunder? Sometimes our own consciously put together outfits may be seen by others as accidental and we are met with raised eyebrows or embarrassing questions like ‘do you know you are wearing a navy blazer with a black trouser?’. Read on to learn how you can create a style statement that never gets mistaken as a fashion faux pas.


Unfortunately, fashion is a topic everyone is strongly opinionated about and most people consider themselves experts. Fortunately, this also means there are no stringent rules as long as you look put together. But, sometimes, even a well thought out look can come across as a mistake and this can be avoided with some extra care.


Mixing Two Neutrals

This is especially tricky when mixing navy with black. There is nothing wrong with the combination whatsoever. Remember, you can mix neutral with any color including another neutral? But if you are wearing a navy blazer with a black trouser and black shoes and carry a black handbag, the blazer might seem a little out of place. People might think you wore it instead of your black blazer. To make the look more deliberate you can introduce more pieces in that combination like a navy shoe and black bag or a shoe that is a mix of navy and black. The bag in this case can be a totally different color.

When there are other pieces in your outfit that follow this combination your outfit looks more put together. When the blazer is not the only thing navy, it’s more obvious that you aren’t color blind.


3/4th Sleeves

In the case of tops / blazers with 3/4th sleeves, if the sleeves hit you close to your wrist, it might seem like you are wearing a hand me down or you have outgrown your full sleeve top / blazer. To avoid this confusion make sure the sleeves are equidistant from your wrist and elbow. Don’t hesitate to shorten the sleeves if they are longer. It definitely looks more purposeful.


Cropped Pants

Just like the 3/4th sleeve this look can be confused with an ill fitting old trouser if it’s not sufficiently above trouser length. Capris can hit as high as the upper calves. Cropped pants are usually longer. But the deliberate look can be achieved by making sure they are well above your ankle. If the crops cover your ankle fully or partially, you might look like you are wearing your favorite trouser from junior high!


Puffy / Flowy / Baby Doll Tops and Dresses

These look very close to the maternity tops and dresses. They are very loose in the mid section which is what pregnant women like to wear. There are a few tricks to make it clear that you are not hiding a baby belly. In case of a blouse, you can tuck it in your skirt or trouser. The loose top tucked in a pencil skirt or trouser is a very classy look. Another style is to wear a belt to cinch your waist and give some shape. For the dresses, belt is the best bet.


Walking Shoes

Some of us don’t have the luxury of driving from home to work. We rely on public transportation that involves quite a bit of walking. To protect your feet and shoes, it’s a good idea to wear comfortable shoes to work and then change to the more formal, expensive shoes once you are the in the comfort of your office. The best walking shoes would be sneakers followed by flip flops. But some women prefer wearing ballet flats or other shoes that are not as casual looking as the sneakers or flip flops. Great idea! But the issue with this is, if you are wearing a great formal outfit even ballet flats are casual and won’t go with your formal dress. At the same time, it might not seem like just the walking shoes which will be replaced by the real formal shoes when you get to work. People might mistake it to be the shoes you have chosen to go with your dress. This obviously doesn’t talk very highly of your dressing sense. But with sneakers or flip flops, however casual they look, no one will mistake them to be the shoe you have chosen to pair with your dress. They have a sense of purpose – to help you get to work faster and more comfortably.



  • When wearing clothes in very close colors like black and navy, make sure your accessories too mirror the combination
  • If your top has 3/4th sleeve, make sure it hits you between your elbow and wrist
  • For capris or crop pants, the hem should be well above the ankle
  • If you are wearing loose tops or dresses and are not pregnant, make sure you cinch your waist using a belt or by tucking in your top.
  • Wearing sneakers or flip flops for your daily commute might just be better coz no one will mistake it to be a fashion faux pas.


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